Kirk Hammett | Sign of the Times
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SIGN OF THE TIMES

Kirk Hammett Sign Of The Times

01 Dec SIGN OF THE TIMES

Surprise, everyone..

Hahaha, what a weird few weeks it’s been, huh?

First of all, may the immortal spirit of Leonard Cohen live on.

He had a sensibility that I found highly relatable, and his darkness was always a welcoming light in my life May he rest in peace.

Second of all, Leon Russell – incredibly soulful piano player, incredible singer and just a really, really amazing musician overall, so another guy – rest in peace.

Thirdly, I’m also sad about the passing of American democracy – slam the final nail in that coffin lid! Speaking of which…do you guys remember Stephen King’s The Dead Zone? How fitting for these times, because if ever there was a time for you readers out there to revisit this one, this is the moment! So go out and buy The Dead Zone – or rent it, stream it, whatever you need to do. I think it’s pretty relevant, and it’s interesting that Stephen King would come up with a story that has proven to be a harbinger of things to come. It’s almost like King became a character from one of his own novels! The sub-atomic weirdness of it is next-level, so chew on that! And let it be said and confirmed that a horror movie does not need to have 12 arms,  8 legs, fangs and multiple eyes you know? Even good, suspenseful thrillers like this are ‘horror’ movies in their own right because the monster is real.

My second choice for a film that reflects these times, is Frankenstein. Did we just collectively create our own Frankenstein? Although in fairness to Frankie, he tried to be nice to the girl and he wouldn’t have a twitter account! You wonder what’s going to happen in the world now, with everything seemingly turned upside down on it’s heels. It’s like The Poseidon Adventure of American politics – and yes, I will throw out all sorts of movie references – let’s reference the monkey trial in the Planet of The Apes, where he was being tried for basically just being human. This is all movie art imitating political life!

If a director was going to make a movie about ‘his’ ascension to power, well, Tobe Hooper would be a good one and also Sam Peckinpah. William Friedkin could do it, but I think maybe Eli Roth is the guy. He did The Green Inferno, maybe he could make The White House?!!!! Ha!

I should say that right now, things are pretty crazy as some of you know, and with that said I might segue and drift rapidly from topic to topic, so having said that …

Lights Out! I live for scenes that creep me out, that stay in my head and reverberate over and over again so as I can revisit them in my obsessive mind over and over again. There were a few scenes in Lights Out that genuinely creeped me out, that were pretty original and well-executed. Especially the flickering light action which is pretty prevalent throughout the entire film. This film would’ve looked really different had someone attempted to make it 15 or 20 years ago, because effects allow you to create just about everything these days…which can be a double-edged sword, but this movie really works! You can even say they’re having this XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (blocked for spoiler potential!) at the speed of light. I really thought it was very cool, the plot line holds up and I’ll watch it again. Is there a comparative film I can think of? Hmmm, not really!!! I struggle to come up with a comparison, which is a damn fine thing.

So check this out! I was visiting a friend in LA, and he said ‘Hey! I have something for ya!’ – always a very nice thing for sure – he’s a loveable nutcase this guy. He pulled out this small box, and inside was something that looked like a refrigerator magnet! I was kinda blown away, because I’ve had some cool refrigerator magnets in my time but it maybe wasn’t what I was expecting. The picture on the front was of The Doll Family, which was a family of dwarves, their real name was the Earles family, three of whom were featured in the great 1932 film Freaks.

It was obviously an old black and white picture on the front, and I turned it over expecting to see a magnet but instead there was a mirror! My friend was grinning at me. I asked if it was some sort of weird drug paraphernalia. The Doll Family would go on carney tours and roadshows, and they would sell swag! Postcards, pictures and little pocket mirrors for your purse. And THIS was one of those pocket mirrors for a ladies purse. I would say this is circa early ‘30s. I was really, really blown away, and told him that I thought he was giving me fridge magnet at first.

“Man, of course not!” he yelled, “you’re nuts!”

It turned out that of the two of us, yes, I was the nutty one. But cool gift and a great collectible, so thank you to my ’not-nutty’ friend for this extremely cool artifact. There is something else I have been meaning to procure from a collector…these four lobby cards from the film Metropolis. I keep on thinking about them, I keep on wandering when I can hammer the time down to formally see them and procure them. I have a ‘yes’ on getting them, the guy is holding them for me, but it’s a case of finding the time, what with my head having been so deep in musical matters lately. So somewhere in the very near future I am getting these four Metropolis cards, which is very exciting because Metropolis is so iconic and means so much to me because it means so much to other people; it’s a lot of filmmaker’s favorite movie, it’s Forrest J Ackerman’s favorite movie, the visuals from that movie are totally amazing and finding American movie material for Metropolis is very difficult. I am excited to get them and really grateful this guy contacted me first. 

OK, I’ll be back with you soon!

Kirk Hammett Signature

23 Comments
  • Mike
    Posted at 10:22h, 10 December

    Cool to see Kirk and Lars unafraid to talk politics. Always liked that they didn’t get preachy like Bono, but what’s going on in the US warrants some discussion.

  • Kellen
    Posted at 10:23h, 10 December

    Would have been cool to see a pic of the mirror, Kirk.

  • Alex dale
    Posted at 10:54h, 10 December

    Dear Kirk, next time you are in Germany near Frankfurt, you can visit the Frankenstein castle, the place that inspired Mary Shelly.
    I live literally in its shadow!!

    Alex

  • Tina McDonnell
    Posted at 10:56h, 10 December

    Another movie that would be good to mention about these times we live in is…….Idiocracy. Now it’s not a horror at all but it’s damn scary to watch it now and think this is a possible future for us 🙂

    • Jake Halloway
      Posted at 11:14h, 10 December

      Yes!! Great choice.

  • Alec Vazquez
    Posted at 10:59h, 10 December

    Yas thank you for mentioning what is happening in the US! I hate when people ignore the problem. Really liked your director picks for The White House movie that needs to be made. Glad your back, boo I hope to see more of your blog posts in the future. Also would have liked a picture of the mirror . 😆

  • Johnny Sjösten
    Posted at 11:13h, 10 December

    I’ve always been wondering what kind of movie equipment at home. Do you have a cinema in your home or are you just watching on a tv?
    For me a big picture and a big sound is essential to get the most out of a movie. Would love to have a own cinema but right now I have a 100 inch screen with a sound system that only bothers my neighbors half the time

  • Rico
    Posted at 11:19h, 10 December

    Fuck Trump! glad you back Kirk.

  • Scott Norby
    Posted at 11:38h, 10 December

    This is great, Kirk! I’m going to check out Dead Zone tonight! Probably a long shot but I have a request. My 11 year old son Khian Norby did a TED Talk this year called Rock of Confindence. It’s his hope to inspire young kids to chase their dreams and work hard to make them a reality. He is a huge Metallica and Kirk Hammett fan. He plays a few riffs in his talk. Me, Khian and his grandfather saw you guys play AT&T in San Fran this year. 3 generations of guitar players. Unforgettable. He would be blown away if you watched it. You can google Khian Norby TEDx or here is the link: https://youtu.be/cnq_kt3PdIE. Thanks so much, brother. I hope to hear from you.

  • Laura Suess
    Posted at 14:50h, 10 December

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kirk! Love and respect from a die hard Metallica fan. I agree completely about the craziness of our presidential election. I’m working with local church leaders to establish sanctuaries for people fearing deportation and persecution. Lots of people are genuinely scared. Thank you for having the spine to speak your mind. Love ya and love Hardwired.

  • Alison Scarborough
    Posted at 14:53h, 10 December

    G’Day from Australia 🖒
    Just thought you may like to check out this movie if you havent already.
    Stephen Kings Needful Things.
    I thought it very intruiging.
    Have a rockin good day Kirk 🎸🤘

  • Fredrik Olsson
    Posted at 16:05h, 10 December

    These times are really challenging for democracy, not only in the U.S in parts of europe as well. Byt let’s hope we can come together, Mankind needs to adress the future and it’s challenges by working together not against. You guys in Metallica can do an important contribution by keeping up the good work. The fact that people from different countries and backgrounds unite in the interest of your music is one way of showing that we in times’ like this have look in to what we all have in common. Not dig into what separates us from each other.

  • Anna Hoover
    Posted at 16:25h, 10 December

    Kirk, would like to know your thoughts on the old Abbott and Costello movies that had a lot of the classic monsters/actors in their movies. Personally, I love them. I got into classic horror, because of Abbott and Costello. 🙂

  • Matt Johnston
    Posted at 17:26h, 10 December

    Good call. My buddy insisted I watch Dead Zone about 6 months ago. He’s a democrat from Buffalo, NY and he was absolutely *convinced* Trump would win long before anyone else even took him seriously. On a side note, my buddy’s friend from film school was the director of photography for The VVitch.

    And to be clear, there are only (3) Met cards 🙂 Hit me up any time and I’ll hop on a plane to SF! Happy Holidays!

  • Anon
    Posted at 11:41h, 11 December

    Kirk is certainly entitled to his opinion, but American democracy did not die as a matter of fact. What happened on election day is the very same thing that has been happening since the first election. The electoral college and popular vote schism has happened before and it will happen again.

  • Tracy Paseman
    Posted at 12:24h, 11 December

    Kirk, I’m one of the millions of Democrats who wept all day November 9th.

    On top of that, I have to work with asshole Republican doctors and nurses who routinely gloat over their love for Trump and their hated of liberals
    in my presence while we are actually doing surgery, a HUGE violation of the Cardinal Rule of the O.R : No political or religious discussions .
    I could just fucking scream.

    But I CAN sing along to ” Here Comes Revenge ” at the top of my lungs driving home, and purge my rage, thank you SO MUCH for the music, man.

    There IS a glimmer of hope…maybe on Dec 19th the 538 Electors will do the right thing, and decide that Trump’s numerous conflicts of interest,
    numerous Russian ties, poor cabinet picks, and his fucking Stroke My Ego Again Tour confirm this MF is not at all serious about being president ,
    and this is a coup attempt of the alt-right.

    The cast of Hamilton called out the VP in a respectful way; you wanna call out Trump, go get him, Kirk, and watch his head spin.

  • Robert Barrett
    Posted at 01:36h, 13 December

    Great to discover you’re a film fan, Kirk. Original fan from the Whiplash EP, or demo or whatever it was. This album . . . nostalgic, wonderful.

    I could go on and on about great films off the beaten path, particularly dark psychological ones . . . I guess I have to say “The Other” (the one with the little kid w/ the dead twin) rules. And “Session 9” was pretty damn flipped out . . . “The Innocents” w/ Deborah Kerr is the scariest damn ten seconds in the longest damn unscary movie ever, too – which is freakin’ disturbing in its own way.

    BUT, what I really want to say to someone who maybe has some friends and contacts in the industry is –

    I’ve long thought Rob Zombie should do new version of “Black Christmas.” Doesn’t it seem he was born to direct that?

    Peter Jackson should legitimize “Empire of the Ants,” as well. So to speak.

    And when is SOMEONE going to legitimize some Lovecraft? Anyone? Would you? I understand you produced “Through the Never” and that was an affecting film (even putting the great band aside for a moment.) I’m sure you know that all one needs to do is show what Lovecraft wrote as a faithful FAN – not a literalist, and not taking NEW creative license in bozo ways, but just being a faithful fan – and it would be great, and previously undone.

    Also, but goddamn, when is someone going to do a true Tarzan movie. That last one – it looked okay, but it was nowhere NEAR the books. I applaud them for not retelling the damn origin story for the billionth time, but c’mon. Tarzan ate raw meat with the blood running down his chin. He was antisocial as hell. Savage. He fought in WW1 and rode in zepplins to the Earth’s core and shit. Explosions. Immortality. Heaving dirty bosoms! That’s Tarzan. But nope. It looked so much like they’d do that right . . .

    Okay – to heck with that crap.

    ALSO – Epic, epic film ideas, right here. I dig deep for these –

    Rod Serling – biopic. Rod Serling was the the Edgar Allen Poe of our times. Needs a biopic.

    Mel Fucking Blanc, dude. Biopic. Philip Seymour Hoffman was a great mimic and would have been great, which is sad – but the film still MUST be made. MUST! Mel Blanc LIVED as his characters, man. At home. Everywhere. They were his soul. In the end, he ended up fighting against Warner Bros. trying to give Elmer Fudd to someone else. Tell me that’s not some very interesting shit, about an interesting dude, and the character portrayal of any actor’s life time. Also, of course, with all the timeless cartoon content that has spanned nearly a century of American history, there’s tons of potential in visual storytelling for a director.

    That is the cherry of my mental collection.

    Rock on, man. I don’t know how you even remember your amazing guitar solos. Just fucking amazing.

    Also – Glenn Tipton. Most underrated goddamn guitarist ever. “Now That We’re Dead” is the most JP like song Metallica has ever had, imo, which I just love, because I’m not scared to tell ya, they’re number one on my fave band list, and you guys are two. That’s probably just a seniority thing, but okay. I’d love to hear the Metallicats cover some Priest someday.

    /rant Peace Out

  • Marc Restivo
    Posted at 02:47h, 14 December

    Mr. Kirk,

    Strange question, but (if I may ask) did you ever acquire any of Uncle Forry’s stuff for your collection? Seems like it would be a very cool progression of things in the history of horror fandom. Anyway, very happy holidays to you and your family!

    P.S. Really love the new album btw…Am I allowed to say that here haha??

  • nina doumain
    Posted at 04:17h, 15 December

    Hello! After spending nearly 2 years in and out of the USA there is one thing I have to say. News Don’t travel fast. If u really want to know what happens on the other side of the planet u have to do some serious investigation. What has just happened to the “late” American democracy is a domino effect and a sign of times. We Europeans are experiencing it at least 10 years now. Look closer….Behind the great ancient temples and the fine red wine. Look at the people. Millions of Frankensteins (aren’t we all?)
    It is a very big issue u bring upon and texting with one finger on my mobile makes things worse.
    The only sad conclusion I have to say from experience is that for so many years I’ve been trying to move to California and suddenly Californians are begging me to give them the keys to my house in Athens-Greece……
    What I have learnt as a decendant of “philosophers is that a tiny Tramp could never intimidate me. He is too little to do so. He is like all of us, a tiny bit of history. Instead of crying over spilt vine, we could stand for a moment and try to figure out what contitions allowed this dislexic nobody to atain such position, and change it.
    It’s an opportunity to take a better look in the mirror and in our hearts.
    In the mean time the house in Athens is a perfect hiding place, especially since it has no tv in it.
    See you and bon courage

  • jeremy morrison
    Posted at 03:22h, 18 December

    I never knew Kirk was a horror fan or had a blog outside of Metallica stuff. I am probably to old now to be stalking members of bands I loved in high school 24 years ago which was kinda how I ended up here.

    RIP Leonard Cohen indeed! Also the Frankenstein/Father stuff resonated with me as well.

    The Dead Zone was the first King novel I read back at age 13. It had a profound effect and I have given thought recently to reading it again to understand why.

    This blog is cool.

  • Emerald Dunne
    Posted at 17:04h, 25 December

    Good piece, Kirk, I still can’t believe it. That ‘Poseidon Adventure’ sums it up and could well be a bit too prophetic.

  • Lars Lindgren
    Posted at 08:18h, 08 January

    Dead Zone was the first time I saw Christopher Walken and have been a big fan ever since. It’s not a horror movie, but check out McBain, it is scarey how awesome it is. Good old fashioned 80’s shoot em up action flick. Good ffotage of Alphabet City in the 80’s in NYC, anyone who has been there in the last ten years will trip out that the corner of Ave A and 9th was a total crack house

  • Keith Anthony Baird
    Posted at 08:22h, 27 July

    Walken has an effortless talent … an outstanding actor!

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